ricotta ice cream with pistachios
Credit: pastry studios

There's nothing like ice cream to cool you off in the hot summer months, but usually ice cream is one of those deserts we so often turn down because of all the fat content and calories. We also want to look great in our swim suits, but still have our "cream and eat it too", so what could be better than a homemade version with less fat and all the taste?

I watched an epside on Food Network show with Giada not long ago where I saw her whip up a wonderful Italian version of ice cream made with with ricotta cheese and I just HAD to try it myself. But unlike most people, I can't just follow anyone's recipe. I always have to tweak it to make my own version. This is so delicious, and you won't believe it's almost half the fat. Depending on which type of ricotta cheese you use- fat free or whole milk, it can cut your ice cream fat and calories big time.

The only tool requirement for this recipe is an ice cream maker, because I just don't think it would turn out without it. Other than that, anyone could make this really simply in about 30 minutes.

Here are the ingredients you'll need:

  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese ( fat free version, or whole milk type but of course the whole milk version tastes better)
  • 1 cup milk (low fat or whole milk)
  • 1 cup simple syrup, (1/2 cup water and 1 cup sugar boiled until sugar is melted, then cooled)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or any flavor you'd like to make it)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or nuts, fruit, dried fruit, etc... pistachios are absolutely divine, as well as lemon zest and almonds, or raspberries and caramel...yumm! You're only limited by your imagination!)

To make the ice cream, just whisk together the ricotta and milk until smooth,  and stir in simple syrup and flavorings. Then add to ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. (Mine takes 20-25 minutes, so add the choc. chips, nuts, or etc.. when it's almost finished so they don't all sink to the bottom).

Enjoy! Absolutely delicious, and not as bad for your waistline as regular ice cream... divine!

If you want to see a calorie counter here for fat and calorie count,  If you'd like to make Giada's version see it here.

Hamilton Beach 68320 1-1/2-Quart Capacity Ice Cream Maker, White
Amazon Price: $39.99 $36.85 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 16, 2015)